Family Life

Your Guide To Using Flaxseed For Lactation

Every breastfeeding mom will do anything just to maintain a good breastmilk supply for their babies. No wonder why most moms rely on taking supplements and eating food that helps increase their milk production. While there are a lot of supplements and food to choose from, many mothers commonly use flaxseed for lactation.

 

 

A lot of new moms who have just started breastfeeding may find it difficult. Some even think their milk is insufficient for their little one. That is why they try to get as much help as they can to stabilize their milk supply. Two of the most common ways that mothers do to help increase their milk supply are (as we already earlier mentioned) by taking supplements or by eating food with ingredients like flaxseed for lactation.

 

We will share to you as much information as we can about what flaxseed is, what benefits do moms and babies get from it, why it is commonly used for lactation and if it does really help in increasing breastmilk supply.

 

What is flaxseed?

 

Flaxseed or linum usitatissimum is a golden yellow to reddish brown seed that comes from flax. This fiber crop grows in parts of Europe, Asia, as well as the Mediterranean regions. Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens, as well as the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which partially transforms into omega-3-fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the body.

 

What are the uses of flaxseed or flaxseed oil?

 

Although the use of flaxseed for lactation is the most common use of this seed, many people also use it for a different type of health condition like diarrhea, constipation, inflammation of the lining of the large intestine, inflammation of small intestines, ad irritable bowel movement. Some people also take it by mouth to help address heart and blood vessels disorders, high cholesterol problems, blood pressure, heart disease, as well as metabolic syndrome.

 

Flaxseed is also taken by mouth for those with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), kidney problems, liver disease, breast pain, diabetes, obesity and weight loss, and bladder inflammation among others. It also is said to help protect a person from cancer threats and helps prevent hemodialysis treatment-related problems.

 

Not just that, flaxseeds are also applied to the skin to help address skin problems like burns, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The seed is said to help soothe inflammation.

 

Flaxseed is indeed one of those food crops with a lot of health benefits. But, as we mentioned early on, the use of flaxseed for lactation is the most commonly known.
How does flaxseed help boost breastmilk supply?

 

There is actually little data that support how the use of flaxseed for lactation helps in increasing breastmilk supply. However, many people claim it effective for breastfeeding mothers.

 

While eating flaxseeds in healthy amounts is said to be safe for breastfeeding mothers, it is important to understand that the concept of eating it or using it in creating recipes to specifically help increase milk production is still vague.

 

Although the fact is, flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), DHAs and phytoestrogens, which are all essential in a baby’s growth.

 

What are the effects of flaxseed?

 

For you to better understand the effects of flaxseeds, we came up with a list of how eating it affects both nursing moms and their babies. Please note that we are sharing both the pros and cons of taking flaxseeds.

 

Nursing Mom

Flaxseed and flaxseed oil can have the following effects on a nursing mother:

  • Flaxseed can help increase the ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) in the body, which is partially converted to omega-3 fatty acids that are vital in the production of breastmilk.
  • With regulated flaxseed intake, mommies with low fatty acids, which affects the production of milk supply, may notice an increase in their breastmilk production.
  • Flaxseed oil while nursing does not counter the low intake of DHA in mothers. DHA cannot be synthesized by our bodies. However, it plays an important role in a baby’s brain and immunity development.
  • Flaxseed oil may cause blood thinning. Too much intake of it might lead to excessive bleeding after injuries.
  • For diabetic nursing moms, you are advised not to take flaxseed oil as it can spike blood sugar levels

 

Baby

Here are a few of what your baby gets when you eat flaxseed:

  • Flaxseed and flaxseed oil are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are effective anti-inflammatory fats. It helps maintain your baby’s brain and heart healthy.
  • Flaxseed is packed with lignans, a type of plant compound known as polyphenols, which hunts free radicals and helps if protecting your baby’s body from any damage.
  • Flaxseed is also a good source of thiamine, Vitamin B6, folate, niacin, Vitamin B5, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium. All of these are essential micronutrients that help in the development of your baby’s bone, muscle, and heart.

Please note, though, that before you use flaxseed for lactation or for any other purposes, it has to be with your attending physician’s approval and supervision.

 

Flaxseeds on Food

 

If you are not familiar with this seed, flaxseed has a woody and nutty taste. You can include it in your diet moderately. It comes in the form of ground seed, oil, crackers, as well as can be included in muesli and oatmeal. Commonly, the use of flaxseed for lactation is in the form of bread, cookies, brownies, and cupcakes.

 

Flaxseed for Lactation Food Recipes

 

At this point, we are sharing with you a few lactation food recipes using flaxseed as one of its ingredients. You may choose among these recipes the most suitable for your taste.

 

NUT FREE LACTATION COOKIES

Source: JustBreastFeeding.Com

 

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flaxseed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons brewer’s yeast

Procedures:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
  4. Add eggs and mix well.
  5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla beat well.
  6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Add dry ingredients to the butter mix.
  8. Stir in oats and chips.
  9. Scoop onto the baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes. Let sit for a couple of minutes then remove from tray.

 

LACTATION COOKIES FOR THE NUT LOVERS

Source: JustBreastFeeding.Com

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups  flour
2 cups  oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flaxseed
3 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups  chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice

Procedures:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat almond butter, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, brewer’s yeast, flax, and water until creamy.
  4. Mix in eggs.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Mix in nuts and chocolate chips.
  7. Add oats slowly, mixing along the way.
  8. Place balls of dough onto greased baking sheets or baking stones.
  9. Bake 12 minutes.

 

NO-BAKE LACTATION BITES

Source: TheBakerMama.Com

 

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup ground or milled flaxseed
3 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dark chocolate chips

Procedures:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Mix on low speed until mixture is well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Roll mixture into 2-tablespoon-sized smooth balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or enjoy right away. Once the bites have set, transfer them to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE LACTATION BROWNIES

Source: ExclusivePumping.Com

 

Ingredients:

1 cup butter melted
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground flax seed soaked in 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes
1 cup flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Procedures:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flax seed until combined.
  3. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, salt.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips and oatmeal.
  5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
  6. Bake for 20-23 minutes.

 

There you go. To conclude, the use of flaxseed for lactation has been done widely and for years already. So, regardless if it indeed is useful in increasing the production of breastmilk, the fact that it contains essential nutrients that are essential in a baby’s development should be enough for a nursing mom to include it in their daily diet.